I have several friends and relatives who are due in the next few months and am looking for some meaningful and/or really helpful baby gifts. It seems like everyone gave me clothes when my girls were born and although they were useful, they weren't very meaningful. And after all, a well-dressed baby still has problems sleeping, eating or whatever! I have hand-knitted gifts in the past but just don't have the time now. Also, any suggestions for an item that you found invaluable that you were so thankful to have?
The most useful baby item I bought was my Boppy pillow. You can use it for feeding, tummy time, and when they get older you can use it to help them learn to sit up. I was thankful to have a baby swing and a bouncy chair for when my son was younger. I hope this gives you some ideas for baby gifts. C.
my most favorite gift to give to new moms is something for THEM. Candles, bubble bath, chocolate, meditations for new moms, teas, etc. Anything that you would enjoy to have a little "me time" would be great.
I asked for a time capsule for my babies. At my children's baptism I had everyone write a letter and something else like a current picture or that years baseball team cards and then we will open it for thier confirmation. This is really meaningful because my kids will recieve a very heartfelt letter to each of them from my dad who passed away almost 3 years ago. He wrote a special letter to each child about how he very much he loved them and and how he knew they were destined to have a wonderful happpy life. It was very touching as my dad knew he was dying when he wrote these letters. It will be very meaningful to my kids who really have no memory of their sweet grandfather who adored them to pieces.
Ditto the responses so far. My favorite gift that I gots TONS of use out of was a thick homemade quilt. It doesn't have to be anything fancy if you don't have a lot of time. Just sew a few big squares of fabric together and put in some quilt batting to make it nice and thick and warm. The kids and I continued to use it LONG after we outgrew it, wishing every day that it was bigger.
The most useful store bought gift was a bouncy chair.
One of the greatest gift we got was a sound activated music and light gadget, it attaches right on to the crib and when the baby cries the light goes on and it plays music and the progressively gets softer. It's was an awesome tool for learning how to self-soothe.
Another one was a vibrating bouncing chair, my son lived in his!
The most useful gift I received was a Swaddle Me blanket by Kiddopotamus. My daughter would not sleep without it. It is kind of pouch shaped and has velcro to keep baby swaddled snuggly.
My favorite gift to give (although I usually give it after the baby is born) is a Turtle Fur blanket monogrammed with the baby's name in a whimsical font. I buy the blanket and get the monogramming done at Initially Yours at Grand & Victoria in St. Paul. The blanket gets softer and softer over time. So many of my friends have told me that it was their favorite gift and that it has become their child's "lovey."
My favorite new shower gift is the Bumbo seat. You can buy them online, at Target or Babies r us. They are wonderful for babies who are able to hold their heads up but can not sit yet. It was also great for when he started eating solids but was still a little overwhelmed by sitting in a high chair. My so loved his and the company also claims that they are good for muscle development etc.
No one told me about bringing a soft blanket to the baby's doctor's appointments. No one told me about Motrin lasting longer and working better for teething, etc.. No one told me that zipping sleepers are awesome to have in the middle of the night rather than a million buttons. I know that there are things a new mom has to experience on their own, but now that I've experienced some of these new situations, I swear by them. I now buy all my friends at least these three things and explain why they may be helpful. If you want a more personalized feeling, you could get the baby's name stitched in the blanket.
I purchased 4 each of these for my two girls and they are a memory I hope to last a lifetime if possible. At Babies R Us or on e-bay or a search on google you'll find something called BabyPrints. It's a foamy material that you smoosh out and roll and put a baby hand or foot into it. You have a long time to work with it and can keep doing it over and over until you get the impression you want. It can take 5 minutes to 15 minutes to get a deep enough impression ect. without smudges. Check it out. I got the hanging wall frame $30 but they have a 5x7 frame for a desk. Each item comes with a colored matting and one side is one color and the other side is another. You add a picture to the oppisite side of the frame.
Here were a few things that I REALLY liked, none of which I received as a gift but would have liked too. Now, I make a point to give these things because they were so useful to me.
A car mirror so that when you're driving, you can see your infant without having to turn around.
A foot stool or 2, because as soon as my daughter could crawl, she was always eager to see "what's up there?"
Little toys that hang on the infant carrier handle to entertain the baby in the car. They are strapped on with velcro so you can take them off and use them as a regular toy with the baby. They were also fun to put on the baby's feet or wrists and the baby would be entertained that way too.
Desetin diaper cream. I've tried them all and I've found that this one was the best.
Washclothes and hair binders = I would wrap up an ice cube in a washcloth, tie it off with a binder and get just the tip wet. When those baby teeth came in...this was the only thing that my daughter liked and soothed her pain. Then, you can use the washclothes, and the hair binders fome in handy for alot of things, not just hair. (tying a blanket together to make a cape, keeping pants tight to legs inside boots before going out in the snow if you haven't purchased snowpants yet, etc.)
Soft medium to bigger sized blankets are nice too. Pregnant people get alot of them, but one of them, my daughter got really attached to and you never know which one, if any, a baby will like. I'm thankful that I received so many. My daughter is 3 and we still use many of the blankets we got before she was even born.
One thing we did for our god daughter was we printed a beautiful poem that on a pretty piece of paper and framed it so that they could hang it on the wall of the nursery. Her mother thought it was really great. The poem we used my husband wrote but just look around and i'm sure you can find something that says exactly you would like to say to the new generation.
I am going to answer with some non baby gifts first...
How about making up some coupons for mom and dad that you cook/bring dinner for the parents. I remember when we brought our son home, all we ate were sandwiches and chips for a while...how boring and I would have loved a nice warm cooked meal. Make a basket for the mom: lotions, a comfy pair of jammies, sweats or maybe some slippers, gift certificate for coffee or her favorite food.
The baby is going to get so much stuff and lots of it will be repeats. The best baby gifts to me are personalized with babies name, birth date, etc. We got a set of personalized pewter boxes for the tooth and lock of hair. Also, think about the future, how about a gift that might be helpful for later this year, or perhaps early next year. We got so much stuff that was helpful for the first few months but by 6 months all of the gifts were used/worn etc. We purchased a website for our son even before he was born...we have a lot of out of town family members so they were able to keep up with what was going on and we continued it until he turned one. I think we payed $50 for the entire duration of the website, its super for the parents to keep up with, upload photos, events, etc. What a great gift to give someone.
My best friend just had her shower last week.
I bought lots of clothes that I thought we were going to use for the multi-task clothes hanging game, then didn't - but I still included the clothes. I also included Milicon gas drops, Gerber first gum tooth brush & paste, those S ring hooks to hang shopping bags from the stroller, and a baby toy (similar to one that my sons loved).
Then for something more sentimental, I printed the following poem on vellum, laid it over an 8x12 baby scrapbook paper and placed in a pretty white wood frame for baby's room. I left space on the right side so that she could add small first photos of baby to it.
A Wee Bit of Heaven
A wee bit of heaven
Drifted down from above
A handful of happiness
A heartful of love
A mystery of life
So sacred and so sweet
The giver of joy
So deep and complete.
Precious and priceless
So lovable too
The world’s sweetest miracle
Baby, it's you.
- By Helen Steiner Rice
Another great gift to include would be a certificate to babysit! As a new mom, I found it hard to ask someone to watch my baby. But the reprieve to get out and do a little shopping on my own for a couple hours between feedings was nice.
I agree that baby clothes aren't quite necessary. That was one reason that we didn't find out what we were having either. I figured we would get all clothes then. Some things we liked were:
-Baby Wipes Warmer
-Johnson's Medicine Kit
-Cloth Diaper Burp Cloths
-Jumperoo (my son really loves it)
I think I really got alot of use out of my Boppy Pillow for breast feeding, bottle feeding, a prop to help baby at tummy time, later for help with sitting and as a toddlr a great pillow to lounge around with and watch cartoons.
I also really cherished homemade quilts or blankets just so much better than store bought.
You'll laugh at my favorite gift -- just as I did when it was given -- cheapo thin washcloths. My friend gave me about 3 dozen and said "my children are 4 and 5 and I use these every day." Now that dd is 4.5 they are the one gift that we do still use daily.
Another friend gave me the wrap tees -- which were great to have that first week until the umbilical cord came off and so cute and traditional afterwards.
Triple Paste -- it usually finds new moms a while to find a really good diaper creme -- desitin just doesn't cut it for lots of babe's but triple paste is wundercreme.
I got a calendar which gave me a chance to write down the milestones of my daughter's first year (one where you filled in the months so that it could continue for the year.)
Certificates at photo places (either traditional or one of the on-line digital places if you know their preference of camera/on-line developers.)
And, I just suggested this for the Mother's day gift question -- but I did it for a friend the first time I met her youngest daughter...I took her daughters and we went to a painted pottery spot. She did a plate with her own handprints, her older daughter's handprints and the footprints of her baby in different colors. (My daughter and I made a similar plate.) A week later I picked up the plate and delivered it to her. She was delighted -- still displays it on a plate rack. I did mugs for grandma and grandpa the first mothers and fathers day after she was born. This year everyone is coming for dinner at my house and I've just decided to serve desert with coffee and get coffee mugs with all the kids handprints wrapping around the mugs. (Boy, I hope the kids can keep a secret!)
I recieved a big bottle of mylicon drops and thick cloth diapers to use as burp rags. I would also agree with some type of blanket or quilt....my mom made me some of the fleece ones with the ties...this is something we use for bedtime, throw on the floor or cuddle with. cheap and quick to make.
My favorite baby gift was a chest that had Alyssa's name and DOB insscribed on the bottom. It is great on her dresser, and we keep special things in it like her umbelical cord, hopital id tage, teeth in a few years. THe most helpful gift, one that I give to new moms now, is a laundry basket, filled with baby medicine kit, dreft, cloth diapers, wipes, and a few swaddling blankets.
Another idea, one that my doctor gave me, was a gift certificate for applebee's, carside to go, with a menu. How nice for a hot meal you don't have to cook every once and a while after a new baby.
First I'll list some of those life savers that I would never have survived without: tiny love black/red/white baby play gym, simple vibrating bouncy chair, swing, exersaucer. We also loved our tiny love mobile...or I should say our son did! Gifts that I loved: medication pack (diaper creme, quick read thermometer, gas drops, infant tylenol, etc.) Also a bath pack with a baby bath and other odds and ends related to a bath. My MIL makes burb clothes, pull over bibs and hooded bath towels that have been SO awesome. She also made a great shopping cart cover that I love. I loved getting books for the baby. And I also enjoyed the handprint/footprint frames. There was so much stuff. I agree that outfits were almost my least favorite.
Sorry if this is a repeat, I didn't read all of the wonderful responses you've received. One gift that I've given is a basket of necessities - lotion, baby bath, tylenol, motrin, clippers, etc. Small humidifier. A really effective stain remover - I used a Stanley product called Orange Miracle and it worked wonders around necklines, etc. And, one gift that I always give that is about as cheap as you can get, but I've found a lifesaver, is a little "Lingerie Bag". It's a mesh bag that zips and you can find it at Target in the hanger, ironing, or storage isle. I use mine for little socks so they don't get lost. I always cross of "Lingerie" and add "Baby Sock Bag" or something of that nature.
I have a 13 month old daughter and my most useful and favorite things that I have are my baby sling and our snack trap (a cup to put snacks in that won't spill). You can easily make a ring sling, or buy one. My favorite style can be found at prettymommasling.com. I still use it when my daughter just needs a break and some cuddle time. The snack trap wasn't useful until she got older, but now I use it all the time and am so glad I got it. I suppose the snack trap isn't a real personal gift, but we like it. Good question and good luck!
Kidz r Special makes personalized children's music and books. KRS has a personalized lullabye CD called You're an Angel which plays the child's name in 5 of the 8 songs and have gotton great reviews on it. My daughter-in-law cried when she heard her baby's name in the music. KRS also has personalized baby books. You can check it all out on the web at kidzrspecial.net where you can insert the name of the child and listen to exerpts of the music or read the story in the book and see what's personalized.
I have recently given 2 baby shower gifts and I was at a loss as to what to get. Then my husband and I decided to put a Baby Medicine basket together. We put everything from a sm. baby first aid kit to diaper rash cream. We recently got a note from the parents thanking us for the gift. They've already put some of the items to good use.
Baby medicines, ect. were things that my husband and I found we had to go out and buy and I'd think it would have been nice to have that stuff before you felt you really needed it.
We also included a little stuffed animal for the baby -- one of those little blankets with heads on the top (I don't know the official name) -- out son loved his so much we had to get another one so we could wash the first.
There is a teething toy called "Sophie the Giraffe", they run about $20-$25, so I don't think most moms would by it for themselves. But when my son was teething, it was the only thing I found that helped, and he loved it. It comes in a box that is written in French so it has really cute presentation.
The Shopping cart liners are really nice, I got mine at Baby Depot and I've seen similar at Babies r us. There is also a really cute inflatable duck bath tub that was a big hit once my daughter could sit up unassisted. I got that as a gift but think I've seen them at Walmart and even Kmart. Also, the baby wipe warmers are really nice and something that people don't always buy right off the bat for themselves. We are still using these and have one next to the highchair as well to wipe faces. Hope that helps!
I am a Birth Doula and I know that most Doula's will do gift certificates toward their services. If you can get people to pitch in with you, it will be a gift that she will love! You may want to make it a gift certificate for the services and then let her go and choose the Doula she wants. I have had a lot of moms say they wish someone had done it for them. Hope this helps!
I have made in the past for 9 people a thing I call baby cakes. It is made out of socks, a gown, towels, washclothes, rattle, ect. You would be suprised at all of the stuff that is in it and just how pretty they turn out. Everyone that I gave one to did not want to take it apart because they are so pretty but they were so excited to see what was all ing it so I now give them with the baby cake a disposable camera so that they can take pictures of it before they take it apart. It is spendy to make so I sugest that more than one person go in on it but it makes a great gift! The last one I made was 7 years ago for a co worker and it cost a total of $70.00 to make but the proce was split between 6 people so it was not so bad on one person to spend.
Sometimes, the best baby gift isn't for baby at all. Every frazzled new mom can use a basket of things to pamper her. Lotions, candles, pedicure set, bath fizzies (so they can make dad watch baby and they can finally relax for awhile), and perhaps even a rice sock (to microwave and use on sore necks and other muscles, I LOVE mine).
Other ideas are cheese and sausage baskets (especially to give right before the baby is born or even to bring to the hospital, so mom and dad can relax together after baby is born) some hospitals will even allow you to bring wine or champagne, so you could get pretty glasses too. Have them engraved if you really want something special for the new parents.
I know yougot a ton of responses and Ididn't read them all so sorry if I repeat here. When I need a baby gift, I go buy some sort of makeup carry bag and make a medicine kit. Baby tylenol, teething gel, baby vix, a thermomemter, and do not forget the Mylicon! It was a life saver for my gassy daughter. It's not the most "fun" stuff to buy, so lots of new mothers dont have it till they need it, and then need to go buy it. It is really helpful. Good luck!
Well although clothes are WONDERFUL! I really appreciated the gifts like a picture frame that goes from month to month, or scrapbooking items (we all know those cost a fortune) I loved getting diapers, and dreft..simple things that it was nice not to have to spend my own money on,, you know..? I was given a Noah's ark piggy bank and picture frame engraved with my childs's name and weight, date...ect. Even bottles, if the woman plans on brestfeeding, I know the ones I use are almost 20$ for 3!!!! Anything you choose to do will no doubt be useful and meaningful to whom ever you give it to. Good Luck! :)
My favorite gift was a Pagoda diaper changing pad. It holds diapers and wipes and folds out to reveal a changind pad. It's exterior is a cool, modern fabric, which comes in many options. I believe it sells for about $60. I know you can get it at Pacifier in NE, but would imagine other shops in town sell it. It is very functional and looks cool. We never go out without it.
A great idea is to give them a gift certificate to create a book of their baby's pictures and stories. This is also a great gift for those who travel and want to capture the memories of the trip. I am a consultant with Heritage Makers, and my website is www.MyPhotobookStory.com.
My absolute FAVORITE gift we received was a wooden block w/ all our son's info (weight, length etc...) on it including the city and state where he was born and who the gift was from. It has become our favorite gift to give and brings tears every time. The website is www.craftefamily.com and they have other keepsake stuff there too.
My all time favorite gift was when someone brought me a home-cooked meal. It was such a treat when I didn't have to cook, and I thought that was incredibly thoughtful. Who wants to cook or worry about food when you are sore, tired, and overwhelmed? Of course this will only work if your friends or relatives are within easy driving distance. I hope this helps!
Lots of responses, not sure if this is in here but "I see me" books are awesome! They use the childs name and for each letter of their name there is a different animal that starts with that letter. The animals are welcoming the new baby. It is really sweet. I have a code that can get you free shipping too if you want!
I would say a wrap or sling - they are invaluable. You can calm a fussy baby, get work done around the house, etc. with one. Plus they're small, pack up well, and don't put unnecessary strain on a little one's spine like a Baby Bjorn type does. (I make and sell wraps www.onebighappy.net - I'm doing the website myself so there are no pics yet, but I can e-mail you color swatches.)
I received a gift of the Robeez shoes for my second daughter and absolutely loved them. They were given to her at birth, but were 12-18 months, which was perfect. At a young age, they are usually in sleepers, so shoes/slippers are no good. By the time she was ready for them, they were needed since she was walking and crawling. I bought a few more pairs myself and always give them as gifts. I alwasy bought mine at Stride Rite and Nordstroms.
A few things that I haven't been able to live without are my Baby Bjorn, white noise machine, soft washcloths and my local bookstore! My daughter spent a lot of time in the Bjorn since she is my second and the first is a toddler. She would have been crying much more without it. I also love my white noise machine. It's small enough that I can put it right near the head of the crib and it has lots of options for sounds. My step-mom bought me a bunch of really nice, soft washcloths when my son was born and I have used them for both kids. They are so handy to have stashed around the house for spitting up, sneezing, breastfeeding, etc. Lastly, I can't tell you how many books I have bought on sleep, child development, discipline, etc. I am an avid reader and I love having a library for quick reference. Every book that I have bought has been helpful in some way, so maybe a gift card to a local bookstore or Amazon.com would be good. These aren't very sentimental ideas, but very useful ones. Good luck!
My most useful gift was the FLANNEL burp cloths from Target (they are much thicker and more absorbant than the normal burp cloths). I believe Babies R Us sells them too. They come in a 4 pack and sell for $8-$9 but are totally worth it. My son had acid reflux and was spitting up all the time. I ended up purchasing extra packs and was going thru so many a day. They were the only burp cloths that held up after so many washings. I now give them to all my friends as a baby shower gift.
I actually have a couple. The Gerber bowls that you do with cereal. I use for snacks in the diaper bag. I use them for meals-they do have a cover. You can use for play doh to keep fresh. Changing pad for the diaper bag..it is plastic and when they move around you can wipe it down. I still use and she is 22 months. I love the clip on hand sanitizer and the clip on sun lotion for the diaper bag. I guess that is more for the mom but it is so convenient.
Hope this helps!
I loved my baby papasan chair! Our daughter was so safe and cozy in it, and it was low to the ground so my 2 year old could check on the baby. I didn't want to spend the $ myself, but a warmer for the baby wipes is nice. After my mom kept warming the wipes in the microwave, I went out and bought one, and it really did make a difference! And a nice gift for a few months down the road is a Baby Bumbo Seat. When you baby can hold their own head up, you can sit them up in this seat. It lets them sit up and moms hands free.
This one is easy. My favorite gift was a really nice washable blanket. The one we got was from Pottery Barn, made of really soft fleece but had 2 layers. This is a blanket (due to cost) that we would never have bought for our baby--I think they are around $30.00 last time I checked. This would be easy for you because you can get neutral color or blue/pink. We have washed ours a million times and it has held up. It was the BEST GIFT EVER!!
I have a friend that sends a small trinket box to all her expecting friends. Enclosed inside it a little poem about how baby teeth need a place to be remembered. I think it is just so sweet and different.